Listening to elderly cuts use of costly medications

  • Article by: Dan Browning , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 20, 2013 - 11:51 PM

Experiment at nursing homes uses individualized behavior modification to get results.

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sunnyreaderDec. 20, 13 9:06 PM

Finally, a care facility using care givers instead of drugs to treat their patients.

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LicoriceDec. 20, 13 9:41 PM

That drugs were not the answer is something family members figured out a long time ago.

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edmeleDec. 20, 1311:39 PM

Having well prepared staff and adequate staff development programs for all employees is essential. It always helps to listen to the family and the resident, no matter how confused the resident may seem. Congratulations to Ecumen for a creative program based on accurate assessment and understanding of the limits of medication.

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whatzitDec. 20, 1311:44 PM

best story i have read all day, Merry Christmas to all you wonderful folks helping our seniors, our mothers and fathers and in fact US one day.

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rlwr51Dec. 21, 1312:27 AM

If nursing homes had more staff this could happen a lot more. Most places I have been aides and nurses are way understaffed and over worked and since pay is so low there is usually a big turn around and staff doesn't really get to know the residents.

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nonau55Dec. 21, 13 1:17 AM

The genesis for the Awakenings Initiative was an advisory issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2005, warning that newer generation antipsychotic drugs such as Haldol, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Abilify and Risperdal. . . These are antipsychotic drugs and are not for dementia = getting old.

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nonau55Dec. 21, 13 1:20 AM

I was a nursing assistant in nursing homes back in the 70's and 80's before drug were 'the answer'. We just dealt with the normal aging process of dementia and no drugs. I have always wanted to start my own "no kill" shelter for the elderly where they don't kill them off with drugs.

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sausageDec. 21, 13 3:41 AM

This applies to all medical situations. The doctor MUST listen to the patient. When I was seen at the VA, a young doctor decided that I must lower my BP and my cholesterol so the doctor demanded that I take a large dose of BP med and a large dose of statins. I took them but had very ill effects from overdose. I went back to the young doctor and fired the doctor. This person did not listen! Minimal effective dosage! And today the medical authorities are telling us that in people over 60 the BP of 150 over 90 is OK. I am not an automobile that you can try different additives until my engine sounds better. Additives can kill and drugs can too. Doctors--START PRACTISING MEDICINE!

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theplasmidsDec. 21, 13 3:41 AM

Great story. I study medications and their use in school; there are so many times when elderly patients get put on too many medications just for the convenience of nursing home staff. It's great to see such radical changes in managing patients! It definitely requires creativity, but is so much better for everyone.

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janmeiDec. 21, 13 6:00 AM

Yes, these drugs have been used to replace the staff nursing homes don't hire and can't keep because the pay is so low. What this article missed is the fact that nursing homes, long term care pharmacies, and Big Pharma have been caught in kickback agreements that involve pushing drugs on nursing home residents to increase their sales profits. Greed is the driving force here. Now that the spotlight is on antipsychotics, look for them to push some new, expensive drugs on these residents.

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